If you’re like us, you may have a hard time getting your kids to an art museum without dragging them kicking and screaming. Recently we ambushed the girls, telling them we were going to Wonderspaces (an immersive art experience) right before we got in the car to head there. Despite the eye rolling and huffing/puffing, they (and we) were pretty amazed at how cool the Wonderspaces experience turned out to be.
Wonderspaces is a pop-up art celebration, created inside and outside a huge white tent in an empty field. Making a stop in San Diego this summer, the collection of immersive and experiential art was pretty mind blowing. The tent was divided into smaller “rooms”, where various artists had created installations that allowed guests to both wander and wonder. Some were cool things we could observe, some required us to perform a task or action, and some were so immersive we just had to jump in to see what happened next.
Suffice to say, Ava and Sophia totally loved it – if for nothing else, the Instagrammable photo opps. And there were plenty.
Some of our favorites:
On A Human Scale by Matthew Matthew – A space filled with video images of various people, with an electronic piano in the middle. When we hit a note on the piano, one of the video images would come to life singing a single note. It didn’t take long for the kids to realize that if they played a chord, those notes corresponded to videos of people singing those notes together. Every key on the piano had a corresponding person to sing that note. We knew those darn piano lessons would come in handy some day!
The Last Word by Illegal Art – This wall of rolled papers actually contained the unspoken words of people who never got to say what they had wanted to say in that “one moment”. We were encouraged to write down our unspoken words, roll it up and stick it into the art installation. Or you could pull out a roll and read someone else’s words. Wonder what our girls had to say… Hmmm.
On Tilt by Charles Bierk and Spencer Cathcart – A field full of air-dancers, having a party that you cannot help join. We laughed so hard and smiled so widely while standing in the middle of all these crazy waving guys of many colors. How could we not?
Sweet Spot by Shawn Causey and Mark Daniell – 3700 cords of various colors were strung vertically in a large space, designed so as we moved around it the color combinations would morph and change. This was a highly sought Instagram photo moment, and we had to fight our way into an empty spot so our shots did not contain other guests. Move over girl.
ADA by Karina Smigla-Bobinski – A free floating helium-filled orb spiked with charcoal pencils that mark the four walls and ceiling as you bounce it back and forth, creating an art piece we helped create. Sophia and Ava could have spent hours playing “volleyball” in this room.
There were many more cool installations, all with thought-provoking themes or mechanisms that entertained our family for hours. We highly recommend you check out Wonderspaces when it comes to a city near you.
Austin, TX October – December, 2017
Phoenix, AZ February – April, 2018
Denver, CO June – August, 2018